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March 11, 2010


Tomi T Ahonen

Simon Maddox disagrees with me

(Simon attempted to post his reply but for some reason Typepad was not cooperating. So Simon kindly sent me the email and I promised to cut-and-paste his comment in its entirety)

Wow, I couldn't disagree more.

Firstly, location, however you want to spin it - 'where am i?', local search, or any of the new stuff coming out of Silicon Valley such as Foursquare. You're only looking at this from an engineering perspective. Yes, they could have technically all been done almost a decade ago, but the tech side was never the biggest issue with these services.

The introduction of client side location, whether that's in the Nokias, iPhones, Android, etc, has rendered network-based location almost irrelevant for consumer facing products. Yes, there's still a small market for people that want to pay 15p+ per lookup (couriers, for example) but that has never been, and never will be, acceptable for most consumer facing products and services. Now that we've got super fast, free, and fairly accurate location services baked right into the handset, it's now so much more accessible to anyone not in the mobile carriers back pocket.

As I mentioned above, a service like Foursquare would have *technically* been possible back in the day, but consumers weren't (and perhaps, on the whole, still aren't?) ready for it, but they've been given an amazing distribution channel in the App Stores.

Previously, the only (real) way to get massive distribution was to be on deck on a carrier's portal. That was never possible for most then, and actually still isn't possible now. Believe me, I've tried to get things on carrier portals recently, and they're either asking for silly money, or they're just not accessible to me and my business.

That, to me, is crazy. The App Stores are here, providing a much more efficient method of distribution (hell, I can *link* to the App Store, regardless of what carrier the user is on), and the operators are still a closed channel.

Regardless of how you want to spin it, the key here is relevancy. Want to know why so many brands never went near SMS/WAP etc? Because, in all honesty, SMS sucks. It's great if you want to target EVERYONE, but no brand does. And if they think they do, they're probably deluding themselves.

SMS is an awful user experience, and there's absolutely no way of conveying brand image in 160 characters. SMS is a purely functional medium, and that's irrelevant to brands and companies looking to build a lifestyle business. Even those that aren't lifestyle brands are looking to be interesting and relevant, and SMS still isn't the right channel for them.

From a commercial perspective, SMS is horribly expensive too. I'd actually argue it's more expensive than building an app.
For example, a number of apps I've worked on have had over a million downloads. That's not in the minority, by the way.

Now, let's take the average of 3p per SMS (that's what it cost to buy in bulk last time I checked), and multiply that by 1 million recipients. Oh look, £30,000 - identical to your average cost of an app.
So, using that as the base, I can either deliver amazing experiences to 1 million people with disposable income (they're paying for an iPhone, Android phone, Nokia phone, etc, and the contract that goes with it), or I can deliver 160 characters to 1 million phones phone, regardless of their income.

Add to that the press/buzz/whatever that can be gained by building an awesome app, and I fail to see why anyone would choose SMS over a well done app.

Of course, that's probably also irrelevant for markets in Africa, some of Asia, etc, but absolutely relevant for most markets in Europe, America, etc.

(posted on behaof of Simon Maddox by Tomi T Ahonen)

Tomi T Ahonen

Let me do the other replies first, Simon, hold on

Hi Shawn, Martin, Murat, klas and ishika

I will respond to each individually here by name

Shawn - First on 12 years. Yes, its a valid point, that it may take a long time for a given technology to mature. Nothing at all wrong with that. But - there is nothing new to the current location-based services. Their very IDEA is 12 years old, tried in 50+ markets and failed everywhere. That is what is to me evidence, that there is no giant market bonanza in location-based services - in particular when essentially all other mobile service areas have flourished from news to games to music to advertising to social networking etc.

On Admob, that is free info given generously by one ad network on their ads being served. If you took that as 'realistic' it would give a horribly distorted view of the mobile browser, mobile content and mobile phone smartphone penetration rate, precisely because it is such a limited and specialized view. One of Admob's big rivals is Smaato. Smaato reports that in their network Symbian totally dwarfs iPhone - which is accurate? And Smaato says that featurephones/dumbphones browsing is bigger than any smartphone. Where is the truth? But Admob stats get reported in major press and tech pundits constantly, while most of the other major 30 ad networks get almost no coverage. When was Buzz City ad network stats quoted or D2C or Aircross or Orange network etc. These are all as valid views as Admob - and all offer RADICALLY different views to the market. That is why I am saying Admob has to be taken for what it is, and NOTHING more.

On SMS, good point. SMS is nearing 20 years of age. But you are very badly mistaken if you think the revenues out of total mobile internet browsing and apps will approach SMS revenues in the next few years. Won't happen. The only content/app/service that is anywhere near SMS in scale of revenues is MMS - which is about a quarter of the total size of SMS revenues. There is very long way to go before SMS is no longer the biggest revenue generator to the mobile data industry. In EVERY market SMS is still growing. Just American Idol this past run 2010 in America earned 100 million dollars out of SMS votes. And the Idols format reality TV with SMS voting music show runs in over 30 TV markets. This after what, 5th or 6th American Idol, still breaking its own voting and revenue records. SMS is a HUGE growth industry for years to come.

Martin - First on the 'confusion' of LBS vs Local Search. Imagine if Google today somehow 'lost' all address info. No Google Maps, no addresses of any kind, all just somehow eaten by the 'address monster virus' or something. Would Google lose its value to us? Of course not. Most searches we do have nothing to do with location at all. What is that quotation by Churchill, what is the number of mobile subscribers in China, is there a music video of Prince performing 1999, who will sell me the new Harry Potter book, what is happening with Nokia today, what was the weird name of Tomi Ahonen's blog, etc. Most of our searches have NOTHING to do with search - but yes, just like we are occasinally needing some addresses, yes, the location adds value to some searches. Now, imagine the other way around, if you could have the addresses but nothing else Google search can find. If it was only an 'address engine' with perfect maps. Unless you are a taxi driver, for almost all other people who use Google, the former version is FAR more valuable than the latter.

I do not mean - and never said, that there is no value in location, but only that its the least well performing of our opportunities and for all the silly money thrown at it - Dow Jones just today measured 67 start-ups had received 656 million dollars just for location-based apps (ouch, the worst of all possibilities, combining both of these myths). Those investors well be severely hurt..

So yes, search about addresses can be useful sometimes but those stats that try to pin a number how often search is involved - I totally don't buy those. They have some very severely skewed interpretations, most of the time we google something, we don't get served a google map reference to what we looked at, and don't care. What was the Finnish general who defeated a Soviet army several times his size on Raatteen Tie in the second world war? Even if Google serves me the map picture of where Raatteen Tie (Road) is in Finland, this time I just wanted the name of Siilasvuo, not caring about the map - I happen to know that map as I've studied that battle and know it. The times I 'want' a map is if I'm considering say a Hotel in Singapore and want to make sure its near Orchard Road etc. But even then, if they give me a familiar hotel - and display the address and show the map - if I know it, I won't actually even look at the map..

You get my point? The actual end-user who actually looks at the address or map, is rare in search. Yes, it happens, and probably it happens more when we are on our mobile phone doing search than on our PCs haha, but still, its only a minnor benefit, the BIG benefit is search itself. Thats where the money is, not in location (was my point..)

On QR codes, great points yes. On social, what was your point... oh, yeah, Facebook and social locations. Yes, social networking ie 'Communities Dominate' haha are big. Any social network can grow big by just being a good social network, whether dating, or blogging, or citizen journalism, or job finders, or whatever. Now, what of the location of the users of social networks. There can be an added gain from location yes. BUT its the LEAST PEFRORMING part of a gain. What should social networks rather do? Create games (think Farm World on Facebook) or virtual currencies (think Linden Dollars) or avatars (think Habbo Hotel) or virtual gifts (think Flirtomatic) etc. All of these are INSTANTLY monetizable ! Mark Curtis the CEO of Flirtomatic said they made too much money from virtual gifts and personalization (while making a tiny part of total revenue from ads) that they eliminated their subscription fee as unnecessary.

Now, Flirtomatic has also added location and it does add some utility to its users, but only as a freebie service - its not monetizable. If I owned a social network, I'd first study who makes money - study Mixi and Mobage Town and Cyworld and Gree and Itsmy and Flirtomatic and Frenclub and Habbo Hotel and MyGamma - note these are not just all earning significant revenues - they all make PROFITS - through mobile social networking partially or wholly. And none of them made their profits via location even as many offer location as one of their elements. The money is not there in location, but there is HUGE money in mobile. All three mobile social networks of Japan are so big and successful, they are listed on the Tokyo stock exchange..

Murat - thanks for coming back, and I'm sorry about the problems with Chrome. Obviously I don't control how Typepad technically operates, but I'll let them know there are problems with Chrome.

First we agree, that yes, if the same experience can be delivered via SMS, MMS, WAP or a Java app then yes, it should be and a good campaign combines those where it makes sense. And I'll grant you sometimes a given brand may not want anyone else except smartphone owners ('wealthy' and often 'western' and often 'business user' who may be on an expense account etc).

On O2 and Barclaycard. If they intended to do 'branding' via their app, then I say its a very bad choice from the basic math (unless they for some reason want to target the smartphone owner - say the Barclaycard was the business traveller card for exmaple, then it makes sense to think Blackberry owner = business traveller segment, somewhat, similar to how say Bloomberg news watcher = business person..). Smartphones reach only a tiny part of the total population in any country.

Now, the game with the accelerometers is cool and clever. That is good as a game and the iPhone is the world's best-selling pocketabel gaming platform by now (when we add iPod Touch). But why would a brand bother to do its brand marketing via an app to a smartphone - that is the point here. Yes, it can be done, yes it can be exciting and amazing, but that is wasteful spending by the marketing department. They should have killed the idea, said that 'we want to reach most phones' and offered their branding team only ideas that work on most phones. Now they have a very clever branding concept that is cool to show off, but works on a tiny fraction of all phones. Dumb!

As a game to sell to gamers, yes, the iPhone is a great gaming platform. If you want to market to gamers, thenb into your in-game marketing mix of Playstation and Xbox and Nintendo you should add iPhone gaming. But for Barclay or O2 to do branding via a game? Thats a huge waste of their marketing effort (with the possible exception that they intended this to grab PR headlines in being cool and different, like the one brand what was it, Red Bull or something, that painted the side of the Russian rocket going into space a few years ago - nobody sees the ad in space, but the press attention to the silly event got them big publicity...)

On not making money.. Since I posted this blog in March, there has been a growing flow of expert advice warning that most apps will not make money, that their developers will not recoup their investment and that most will not break even. Its no longer just me saying so. Yes, if you're really lucky, you may win in this lottery but its far worse than the pop music or hollywood business where approx one in ten is a money-maker. There is a growing consensus that the app space is a tech bubble forming. If you don't see that, and refuse to believe it, thats your prerogative. I am here to report the world as I see it and the evidence is overwhelming. Most of apps will not make money, and most apps used for brands to achieve branding will not get anywhere near the downloads to justify that investment.

On engagement. Lets be clear here, it was my book Communities Dominate Brands, the signature book for this blog that coined the term 'engagement marketing'. If you create a branded app - like a game - that is once downloaded onto a phone, and is played on that phone - but never retuns to bring contact between the phone owner and the brand - that is 'interactive' because it did force the user to download it, and it is digital, and it is mobile, but it is not 'engagement marketing'. It fits the dictionary definition of 'engagement' because any game is 'engaging' it is inherently inactive unless the gamer interacts with the game - but that is not 'engagement marketing' ie - downloading the world's best game onto a phone is the same as propaganda interruptive advertising from the brand's point of view - UNLESS there is a feedback channel of some kind. Only with return contact AFTER the download and game-play, can there be engagement from a marketing point of view.

So, you make your ultimate game and app and brand it. Fine. It can be the most cool super-addictive game but its not any sort of engagement with the brand. There has to be a SEPARATE part to the game that causes the contact for fllo0w up dialogue of some kind between phone owner and brand. An advergame may be - if well designed - engagement by the brand. MOST advergames are NOT engagement at all by the brands.

Then MMS - it is inherently interactive. It is messaging. Most recepients of MMS ads react to them instinctively as if they were SMS and responses are natural, the users dont' often even notice it was actually an MMS communication, they just thought the phone message somehow had a picture. So if I design any MMS campaign with feedback from recepients or forwarding or link to the WAP page, it is interactive. If there is a planned series to the messages, they are engagement marketing. Sorry for the lecture but this is so often misunderstood and your comment suggests you don't know the difference. Most branded apps do not have any feedback loop. Even a feedback loop is only interaction. But engagement means dialogue, by definition at least two responses from the target audience. Most MMS and SMS campaigns are by design interactive. Since Blyk taught the world how to do engagement marketing, now increasingly ad agencies plan SMS and MMS campaigns as series (dialogue) which means engagement marketing. You are correct that apps can be used in engagement marketing, but in most cases today the branded apps are not that.

As to those missing MMS campaigns from 2006 to 2009 - hey, Murat, I respect you but come on, I have tons of those examples in my eBook Pearls Vol 1 Mobile Advertising, and there were tons of them winning awards the world over. If you couldn't get a client to trial an MMS campaign in any market except North America in the past few years - when MMS earns dozens of BILLIONS of dollars of mostly media income - then you have been in the wrong business or using obsolete powerpoint slide examples haha. I have plenty of close friends who've been doing a lot of that stuff and I obviously have tons of case studies in 4 books published since 2006. You are almost suggesting you are not competent in MMS if you say that..

klas - you give excellent examples. I totally understand that you feel because you could find great use to those services, they must therefore be also a commercial opportunity. That is EXACTLY why I wrote this blog. It is so easy to fall into the myth that location is useful and therefore it has to make money. I will not go through every example - I will take your first one - your business contact, you'd like to see him pinpointed on the map. We would ALL love to have that ability. But the problem is, that while everybody loves the idea of tracking others, everybody also hates the idea of others tracking them. Take your business contact. You have to ask permission to track him/her. And lets imagine its a very 'open' person who won't mind, and allows you to do so. And obviously does this with others too. How soon does it happen, that the 'wrong' person is now monitoring him and his movements.

What do I mean by wrong person. A legitimate business colleague gets this permission. He is in a business which is not in competition with your company. But he is headhunted to a new employer - and at that company he is put into a new project - which is directly in competition with your company. Now, he could monitor your movements and see when you are visiting your client - and which office of theirs - ie it becomes 'competitor analysis' ie spying.

Thats JUST one example. What of the guy who is often late and gives 'stories' of why he is late. He accidentially gave a colleague permission to monitor him. Then he runs late to a meeting with someone else. He doesn't know that this friend is at that meeting. He calls and says he's stuck in a taxi mid-town, but the friend pulls out his phone, geo-tags his location, and finds the guy is still at his office. These kinds of situations happen DAILY. The husband says he's on his way home, is in a bar with friends. Etc etc etc. You presented a perfect example of one example of why we all want location services but nobody will want them used on themselves. If we don't volunteer the data, it becomes a pointless service. And on the friend-tracker - did you think of paying to find out where he is? Every time when you check? There is no money in location.

ishika - thank you. Will check it out.

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Simon

Thank you for the detailed and considered reply.

Lets start with the positioning. So you say now with GPS based positioning we are past the carrier charges. Well, first, GPS-enabled phones are a tiny minority of all phones in use - far less than 10% of all phones on the planet, so your solution is not practical for most phones in use. But secondly, I think we both agree on this, that at least the 'positioning' part is not readily monetizable today - my point exactly. Put your effort in something the customer is willing to pay for (news, games, music, social networks etc, not location)

On App Stores - yes, they are actually a very good development to help break the walled garden thinking that is prevalent in many - not all - markets. But then take an advanced market like Japan where carriers return 90 cents of every dollar to the content owners, and 80% of the nation uses the mobile internet, and there are no limits to getting your site visible on the phones, why would you even think of developing an app - unless the app is the technically right way to bring the solution, typically a game.

When you are talking of carrier deck, I am guessing your background is in the US market and I feel for you. Its a horribly backwater punitive arrgoant and greedy place where carriers totally rule. That is almost the worst it can be haha, even many Developing World countries have more developer-friendly and content-friendly environments than the US carriers offer. Yes, the iPhone App Store was sorely needed, I have many developer friends in America who totally agree with that sentiment.

But that is changing. A great example is UK based Flirtomatic which launched in the USA a few years ago. Its a WAP social networking service and is running just fine in the USA - in Britain its a Top 10 mobile website already on most of the networks. So apps are not the only way (anymore).

Now, on 'SMS sucks'. Haha. Yeah. And consider this. A UK youth population of 200,000 teenagers and young adults were subjected to a daily bombardment of 5 SMS or MMS advertisements EVERY DAY for two years (in exchange for a very modest return of free minutes and messages to their allowance). Yes, that was Blyk. You know what was the single biggest complaint they got - they wanted MORE of the ads !!! Yes, this is well documented by for example former Blyk exec Jonathan MacDonald in his book.

Who on TV says 'give me more ads' or in the movies says 'no, don't show me the movie, show me more ads' or on radio says 'don't interrupt the ads for some music, I want more ads' or on the web says - I wish there were more forced ads ot see before I get to that page I wanted... But well designed 'engagement marketing' based ads on mobile - using SMS or MMS - they can be SO POWERFUL that people want MORE OF THEM. This is not some mysterious UK youth are high on some weird drugs kind of pseudo-reality, it is documented evidence, time and again, market and again. Engagement Marketing was invented in Japan and most Japanese campaigns are like that - and users LOVE their ads. I have tons of Japan examples in my presentations and books and they are amazing. YOU'D want those ads haha.

So yes, there is the old-fashioned view of using SMS as the mobile equivalent of email spam. That is horrible interruptive ad model. And there is the new engagement marketing which registers from 25% to 40% response rates globally wherever its been run and the people love them. Note the response rates are 100x better than on the web. Not the 10x better that you get on basic boring banner ads or yes, spam SMS without any targeting. Oh, obviously - engagement marketing cannot be done without permission.. So by definition a spam SMS blast to everybody is not engagement marketing, it cannot be by definition.

On Brand image and SMS.. haha.. yeah, I get that a lot when I have workshops with ad agencies. THe Branding myth eh? Yes, did you notice my book was entitled Communities Dominate BRANDS. The era of branding for the sake of branding is over, please join the 21st century. I don't mean to be flippant, and that was more intended to other readers than you Simon, obviously, but yes, the need to push 'pure image' of a brand without any 'inherent value' of a communication is coming to an end. Engagement Marketing again is the complete and utter opposite of that. EVERY communication process has to bring value to EVERY intended communication target person, else it is not engagemnt marketing. That may be utility, it may be entertainment, it may be an honest value exchange like freebies or discounts but every communication has to bring value to the ad recepient.

And for that, SMS rules. Coupons, alerts, news, opinion surveys, preferences, activation codes, what have you, SMS can deliver. And even branding yes, but SMS is not the ultimate branding tool. Perhaps a supremely emotional extended multimedia experience is the ultimate branding tool - a major Hollywood blockbuster movie - James Bond and his Aston Martin car, there's your branding vehicle. But for engaging with customers and selling them directly - what is the ultimate purpose of all advertising is to generate sales - mobile is BY FAR the most powerful ad platform to create direct sales. In many cases it can be used to create 'click to buy' experiences that customers love - something not even possible on the internet (where the click next asks for your paypal or credit card number etc, is not anywhere near click to buy)

There is traditionally the AIDA model of consumer behavior (Attention, Interest, Decision, Action) and then there are models of lifestyles of customers. Only mobile phones are physically present at EVERY single moment in our lives, meaning any possible point of thinking about a given brand or purchases related to it - a phone will be present. And only a phone will be present at EVERY point of the life cycle, from considering purchase, to any maintenance and repairs, to later selling that good perhaps after we're done with it, including replacements, recommendations to friends, loaners, what have you. Every time only a phone is present. And only SMS can be used at every point of that experience - they are now for example introducing SMS interactivity DURING movies (was first done in the Philippines) - think American Idol on TV. So if you need to have your BMW serviced, the garage can send you SMS when its ready to be picked up. SMS is the universal tool for any brand's customer lifecycle managment. My flight on British Airways, they could send me an SMS asking if the flight was good and my experience in the lounge was delightful - in Singapore mobile operators do this for example after every customers' visit to their store, every time. Personal SMS asking was the visit ok (followed up by a personal call by a manager in case you were not satisfied).

SMS is BY FAR the best method to engage with customers, with MMS the second best only because not all phones yet support MMS and not all MMS-enabled phones and networks have the settings correct. But if you say SMS sucks and SMS isn't relevant and aweful user experience, I say to you, you are advised by the wrong 'experts'. Meanwhile my clients deploy those award-winning solutions on SMS and MMS and make their customers super-satisfied when their end-users love the attention and special care that is delivered through relevant and personal SMS. Like say here in Hong Kong the government sends alerts when we have Flood warning type of storms. When I was travelling and connected via Bangkok airport, I got a Hong Kong government alert about the Thailand riots, warning travelling Hong Kong residents to be careful of Thailand travel disruptions etc. But that did not go to local Hong Kong people nor to people travelling in Singapore etc.. That is how great SMS can be. A HUGE benefit to our lives.

But again, I think your experience is based on the US market being so hideously behind the times. Imagine China 20 years ago when they had almost no cars. Then for an average Chinese you show a motorcycle with a sidecar (you know like those in the movies that the Germany army used in WW2, where someone can sit in, a kind of 3 wheel motorcycle). They'd think that is glorious, its far better than a a bicycle and you can have a passenger in good comfort - and most of all they are not even told of all the benefits of a low price car, which would have 4 seats and plenty of storage space to carry stuff, and a fully enclosed cabin to keep everyone dry in the rains, etc.

Most American experiences with SMS have only come in the past few years with American Idol and the Obama campaign. Its only three years ago that half of Americans started to send SMS text messages. It was not even thought of as a mass-market communication method (not 'professional enough' for business use, only teenagers would use it, etc). So Americans - and their ad agencies - have not had much time to learn about the power of the most used data app on the planet. I've catalogued and documented literally over a thousand SMS based solutions and services worldwide, absolutely every kind of end user experience from bank balances to airline check in to televoting to breaking news to interactive games to vending machines to lotteries to public transport to consumer surveys to election results to legal notices to digital signatures to mobile payments to mobile banking etc.

Its not the answer to everything, nothing is. But SMS is the most used data app so far more users worldwide are familiar with it than any other data app including Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube, email, Amazon, eBay whatever. If you are in marketing, most of the need is to communicate with customers, SMS is the most wide-reaching platform - 2.5 times more active users of SMS than total worldwide population of TV sets - and SMS is inherently interactive and only the mobile phone is truly personal (we don't share our phones even with our spouces). I can promise you, that in 95% of marketing 'needs' in companies or other entities (governments, non-government organizations) SMS can add value and bring better experiences to the end-users than ANY non-phone based method including TV, print, billboards, radio, email, direct mail, etc. Its just that SMS is still not well known in America (but thats changing fast)

So then apps vs SMS - is a false choice. A good campaign in most cases is of course multi platform. But because SMS reaches every economically viable person on the planet and all smartphones combined reach under 10% of the planet, it makes sense to build an SMS element to whatever else you do in your marketing, including the idea of an app haha. SMS should be at the foundation, ad campaigns and marketing campaigns should be designed FIRST to start with SMS, then consider what else do we need, do we need TV for this, do we need print, and how to do the web, in addition to SMS. Apps are mostly useless unless, yes like in your example, if you want to try to reach 'affluent' iPhone users and are happy you're not just limiting your reach to 3% of the total population, you are also excluding all other smartphone owners haha.

I hope I addressed all your points, we obviously agree that in Africa, and other parts of the Emerging World, mobile is not the 7th media, its the first media and SMS and WAP and voice are the primary methods to communicate.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Simon Maddox


Thanks for your very long reply! I'll try to keep this one brief :)

You're right - I've no experience of the Japanese market (only European and US), but if what you're saying is right (80% of the Japanese population uses the mobile internet) why would you ever want to send them an SMS? SMS is therefore an expensive way of sending something to 20% of the population, when 80% can experience the brand in a much better format (mobile web).

Building an app isn't branding for the sake of branding. Someone mentioned Nike earlier - have you seen the Nike ID iPhone app? Sure, I guess it could technically be replicated using MMS, but it wouldn't be a great user experience - so why would Nike, a brand known for its great design and experience, settle for something less than perfect? Granted, they've used MMS where it makes sense - you can take a photo of something and have a coloured shoe sent back to you, but that's the extent they've gone with that.
What a poor experience - do you think the user (probably a teenage boy, I'd imagine) is really going to show his friends this? Or is he more likely to show their iPod touch, where he can customise every aspect of the shoe, spin them around and even put his name on the back?

As a branding exercise, which one is Nike more likely to go for if they can only have one? The "cool" factor, or the functional one? I don't know for certain, but I'd imagine it'd be the iPhone app.

With regards to MMS, there's also another issue. I often send photos to friends and family by MMS when I know they don't have email on their phone. Want to know what their first question is? It's not "Oh cool, where did you take this?". It's "How much did this just cost me to receive?"

There's still a huge barrier to entry with MMS, which smartphones like the iPhone and Android are totally breaking down. Nobody is scared to use the internet or download apps on their iPhone, but they're scared to *receive* MMS on their "feature phone".

Lot's more I wanted to comment on, but there's far too much so let's leave it at that for now! ;)


Robert Oschler

If you're looking for the book Tomi mentioned, "Open your eyes and wake up your business" by Agustin Calvo you can find it on Lulu:

I looked on Amazon and I could only find it in Kindle format and I don't have a Kindle so maybe this will help someone else too. There's a downloadable file version too. Thanks.



Earning money from home is one of the hottest topics on the net! So what are the odds of those get rich overnight websites letting you know the real story?



I looked on Amazon and I could only find it in Kindle format and I don't have a Kindle so maybe this will help someone else too. There's a downloadable file version too. Thanks.

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I was reading something else about this on another blog. Interesting. Your position on it is diametrically contradicted to what I read earlier. I am still contemplating over the opposite points of view, but I'm tipped heavily toward yours. And no matter, that's what is so great about modernized democracy and the marketplace of thoughts on-line.

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you must consider that not all users are alike

that 1% of iphone users have much more money to spend per user and are much more willing and used to spending it than the other 99%.
but i do agree. it's a niche market. and there is nothing wrong with that


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    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Helsinki but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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